October 3, 2011

Egyptology Leads To a Dig

Two summers ago I was snooping around the Goodwill store in our neighborhood and I found an Egyptian treasure, Egyptology The Search for the tomb of Osiris by Emily Sands. This book is fabulous! I have seen it advertised for sale in numerous homeschool cataloges and it usually sells for around $20-$25 bucks. A little pricey for our budget. But on this great day a few summers ago I found it for $2. The best thing about this good will find is that all the pieces were perfectly intact.

The story begins with an envelope and a piece of papyrus. Inside the envelope is a letter to the editors of the book/journal from Joanna Sutherlands the great niece of Emily Sands an egyptologist who went to Egypt in 1926 to search for the tomb of osiris and then disappeared. Jonanna is offering her great aunt's journal to the publishing company in hope that someone else may be able to use the information in the journal to find the missing tomb. We know the journal was published because we are reading it, and it leads us to believe that we should search the journal and see if we can find the clues to the missing tomb and what happened to miss Emily Sands. A very intriguing way to begin a book, which for my boys was a sure grab at their attention. The gorgeous drawings and fold-out pockets and maps on each page were also a big hit. 

We read through the book one morning for our Egypt lesson but the idea of hunting for buried Egyptian treasure kept in our minds. Later in the week we read from The Usborne Internet linked Encylopedia of the Ancient World about excavations that have been going on in Egypt through the past decade or so. It was a great lead into our Archeological tools Egypt Pocket activity which I created for this lesson.

Zak's cover

Zak's tool box and dig site.
These mini books slip inside of our Intro to Egypt Pocket. I invested in a history pocket e-book by Evan-Moore this year because the pockets seemed like a great way to tie our discovery of Egypt together. I plan to literally tie the pages together and make it into a real handmade book. Please return later to see posts about this later. A lapbook would have been to small and notebooking pages would not have lended to all of the hands on 3-D projects that we had in mind to do throughout the year. So we will have nine pockets in all when we are finished, one for each of our major sub-sections: Introduction to Ancient Egypt, Kings and Queens, Daily life etc. I am following the hitory pockets ideas and adding some of our own like the archeological tools actvity above.

Inspired by the reading of Egyptology we followed Emily Sands advice from this page in the book and put together a set of real tools for our dig instead of paper ones in our folder. To prepare for this activity, I painted a ceramic pot I had on hand and my dh buried it for me in the yard for us.

The first thing the boys did was to section off the digging area with some pegs (sticks) and some string.

Next I showed them how to dig like an archeologist, carefully scraping away the topsoil and going slowly to find the artifact you are hunting for. We spoke about how objects which have laid in the soil over time become delicate and brittle.

Getting deeper.

Zak found the first piece! How exciting!

Soon many more pieces were found!

Zak fitting the pieces together.

TJ has found a couple of the pieces for part of the top of the pot.

Zak has put the bottom together!

And this is where we left it. No one really was interested in gluing the enitire thing back together so we just left it. But all were in agreement the digging up of the pot was the best part.

Good job boys!


  1. I love your pocket and your dig. We will do this when we get back around to Egypt again. We are in the 1700's AD now.

  2. Hi there, I loved this idea and have linked to it on my blog: http://inkspotsandgrassstains.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/ten-things-to-do-with-mud-activities.html